New network launched to tackle climate change in Edinburgh, Belfast and Leeds

Press release:

The Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Claire Perry, will today (31 January 2019) launch an initiative to create a network of new and extended city climate commissions in Edinburgh, Belfast and Leeds. The project aims to help the UK meet the requirements of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change and the UK Climate Change Act by building local capacities and stimulating the flow of green finance into cities across the UK.

The Place-based Climate Action Network (P-CAN) will help the local delivery of the UK’s climate change objectives by supporting action in UK cities through a partnership made up of the private, public and third sectors.

P-CAN will be announced today at a national green finance conference on ‘Investing in Local Energy’ in Leeds. Claire Perry MP, Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, will deliver the keynote address at the conference, which is being organised by UK100 and Leeds Climate Commission, together with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The Minister is expected to say: “I would like to announce the establishment of the Place-based Climate Action Network (P-CAN). This is a new £3.5m research network that has been set up to enable cities and towns to build much needed local action on climate change, by building their capacities for action, developing investable projects and accessing finance.

“The network will include researchers from universities across the UK, and will explore innovative approaches to sustainable finance, renewable energy and low-carbon projects, and also highlight the business opportunities and social and economic benefits of local energy projects to communities.”

Accelerating climate action in cities

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is investing £3.5 million in P-CAN over the course of five years. It will be hosted by the London School of Economics and Political Science, the University of Leeds, the University of Edinburgh and Queen’s University Belfast. It will seek to increase engagement between university researchers and the public, private and third sectors in tackling climate change.

P-CAN will help to accelerate and sustain the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient society through the creation of local climate commissions, following the Leeds model developed in 2017, as well as other broader measures focused on increasing investment in low-carbon, climate-resilient development.

There is a pressing need for cities and towns across the UK to take action on climate change, and a major opportunity for them to do so in ways that also help them deliver on their economic and social ambitions.

But to take these opportunities cities and towns need to build their capacities for action, and they need to find new ways of developing investable projects and programmes and accessing investment. P-CAN will do exactly these things.

Another key dimension for P-CAN will be to explore how to ensure that any low-carbon energy transition is a ‘just transition’ so that nobody and nowhere is left behind in the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy.

Author: Zero West